As a boy or even a young man, Charles Dickens could not, of course, have read Nordhoff and Hill's 1932 novel based on the mutiny at Tahiti. Although John Barrow published three books on the Bounty mutiny (1833, 1836, and 1838), and J. S. Adams and C. Aleck published The Last of the Mutineers; or The History of Pitcairn's Island (Philadelphia: E. C. Biddle) in 1845, if Dickens read about the mutiny as a boy, he must have done so in a book based on Bligh's own account, A Narrative of the Mutiny on Board His Majesty's Ship The Bounty, and the subsequent voyage of part of the crew in the ship's boat from Tofoa, one of the Friendly Islands, to Timor, a Dutch Settlement in the East Indies, illustrated with charts (London: George Nicol, 1790), or perhaps in the Terrific Register, a particularly lurid periodical that was Dickens's favourite during his boyhood.
In The Night Side of Dickens: Cannibalism, Passion, Necessity (Columbus: Ohio State U. P., 1994), Harry Stone notes that Dickens's personal library "contained many books on shipwrecks and disasters at sea, including . . . Hugh Murray, Adventures of British Seamen in the Southern Ocean: Shipwreck of the Antelope, and Mutiny of the Bounty, 1827" (553). See also the online bibliography for works dealing with the Bounty mutiny at larryvoyer.com.
- The Text of Dickens's "The Lost Arctic Voyagers"
- An Introduction Dickens's "The Lost Arctic Voyagers"
- The Franklin Expedition: 1845-1859
- The Search for the North-West Passage: 1497-1845
- Reading and Discussion Questions
Last modified 11 July 2004